User Help : Using USB Storage Devices

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Copyright © 2007-2015 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2015.09.25)




Introduction

USB flash drives (aka USB memory keys or thumb drives) are easy to use with Userful Desktop™. Below are some tips on how to use these devices in Userful Desktop.

Userful Desktop 8.x(Series)

Accessing the Drive

Finding the USB flash drive.

Files from any USB-compatible storage device, such as a digital camera with a USB cable or a flash drive can be accessed as follows:

  1. Plug a USB storage device, System Tray icon will briefly change to a "USB" symbol;once the icon returns to normal, the device will be accessible through the System Tray.
  2. Click on the System Tray icon, highlight the device, and select "Open".
  3. Find the file you wish to open and double-click on it.
Mass Storage mounted.jpg
  1. Once finished, click Close to close the device from the System Tray.

Note: A message will appear with a friendly reminder to remember to close the device from the System Tray before unplugging the device, to avoid data loss.


Helpful Hint: USB-connected storage devices MUST be opened (or 'mounted') through the System Tray to show up in the file navigation system.

  • This means that users will not be able to save files from within an application (i.e./ through File > Save or File > Save As...) unless the storage device has been opened or mounted through the system tray.


Mass Storage unmounted.jpg

Before unplugging a device, click on the System Tray icon, highlight the device, and select "Close". Wait one or two seconds -- or until indicator lights on the device stop flashing -- and remove the device.

Please Note: U3 Smart Drives are not supported by Userful Desktop.
Flash drives can have different types of filesystems, just like hard disks. Ext3/ext4-based filesystems, which are commonly used in Linux systems, retain permissions that restrict read/write access to the owner.

This means that a flash drive with an ext3/ext4 filesystem created on one system may not be usable when plugged into another system. To avoid this issue, users can use FAT32 formatted flash media, which works well cross-platform, and doesn't have permission issues like ext3/ext4. (Users should be aware that FAT32 storage volumes allow a maximum file size of 4 GB.)

Previous Versions

Mounting and Unmounting

Since Userful Desktop is based on Linux, the concept of "mounting" and "unmounting" a storage device is used. It's kind of like riding a horse: You mount the horse, and stay on until you arrive at your destination, then you unmount the horse. You can't put the horse out to pasture or leave it in its stall unless you unmount it first. Trying to do so without nicely unmounting will result in either you or the horse being injured or, at least, unhappy.

Your storage device is the horse. And you can't use it without mounting and unmounting. Below we will show you the steps involved in mounting and unmounting.

Accessing the Drive

Finding the USB flash drive.

Files from any USB-compatible storage device, such as a digital camera with a USB cable or a flash drive can be opened (mounted) as follows:

  1. Plug a USB storage device (such as a flash drive) into an open USB port on the keyboard or the same USB hub the keyboard is attached to.
  2. Double-click on the Computer icon on the desktop.
  3. Find the icon for your USB device, and double-click on it.
  4. Find the file you wish to open and double-click on it.
  5. Unmounting the flash drive.
    Once you are finished using the storage device, right-click on the device's icon in the file browser window, and select Unmount from the menu. (This last step is critical in preventing data loss or damage to your storage device.)



What if my device doesn't work?

Please see "FAQs... USB Devices".